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CRA Helps Expand Entrepreneurship, Job Growth

Photo courtesy of The Venture Center

Partnering with entrepreneurial support organizations may qualify financial institutions to receive credit under the federal government's Community Reinvestment Act.

Since its enactment, the CRA has helped channel capital into communities and, in the process, supported innovative and effective approaches to community development. For financial institutions that choose to have their investments, donations and service hours considered during a CRA examination, the issue of what qualifies for CRA purposes has remained a hot topic.

Qualified investments, donations and service hours under the CRA range from highly complex government-sponsored programs to simple community donations given to nonprofit organizations. Examples of common contributions that may qualify banks for positive consideration during bank CRA examinations include:

  • Financially contributing to a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes economic development and entrepreneurial growth in Central Arkansas, as well as community development in low- to moderate-income areas for low- to moderate-income individuals.
  • Supporting activities that revitalize or stabilize low- or moderate-income geographies.
  • Providing financial support of workforce development or technical programs.

With the expertise of a team of mentors, successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders who deliver top-notch entrepreneurial education and introductions to the investor community, entrepreneurial support organizations serve as an engine for economic growth by:

  • Facilitating the creation of new business in Central Arkansas, the Delta region and beyond, as well as attracting new businesses to those communities.
  • Helping bank-enabled, FinTech startups create innovative products for the banking industry.
  • Strengthening the technical community to attract and retain associates with different backgrounds, experiences, ideas and skills through unique programs and events.
  • Positively affecting business revenues with increased sales, profits and greater returns for our member companies.

Entrepreneur accelerators help startups become viable, high-growth businesses.

CRA initiatives are vital to the financial health of local economies that rely on bank products and services — and by helping these economies grow, banks can grow through increased deposits and loans. These initiatives can help banks create a wide range of customer relationships that support the bank’s growth over the long-term.